Flower Child

Karen Lee Kleis

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My original concept for this self-portrait was more of a hippy-dippy-let-your-inner-child-free-to-romp thing. Then this last week happened. More young black men gunned down by police for no apparent reason, police officers falling victim to sniper fire in Dallas, the ongoing BLM protests amid hyperbolic and untrue rhetoric about their “violent” motives, the over-aggressive police reaction to protesters across the country. And I haven’t even touched on other news. With all this going on, I wasn’t even sure if I had a voice anymore or, if I did, what I wanted to say. Then last night I was thinking about an article I’d read that compared what is happening in our country today to what was happening in 1968. I decided to go ahead and do this self-portrait with less of a staged costume effect and with a different focus in the narrative.

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